Author Interview 147 – Loreen de Kort


Loreen de Kort

Age 61

USA

I am an author, wife, mother of four wonderful women, and a grandmother to three teenagers. I have lived in a suburb north of Seattle for the past 18 years. Living in the Pacific Northwest is rather like living in a land of Christmas trees and mountains filled with natural beauty. I find the weather is temperate most of the year, never getting too hot or cold for extended periods. People associate the Seattle area with being overly rainy but I don’t think it is that bad. We get many overcast days, but no real downpours. The majority of it is a light drizzle where you need not even bother with raingear. However, when the sun comes out, I love the beauty of the mountains and the trees. To me, the views across the valleys are breathtaking. I developed a love of poetry writing in my teens and have been writing ever since.

Traveling was part of my joys when I was younger. As an adult, I lived in Turkey for about a year and lived in the Netherlands for almost as long. I have visited Germany, Belgium and Moscow. In an aside, I do not suggest you visit Moscow during the winter. It was cold like I’d never thought could exist outside of the vacuum of space. I have taken cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska, and I highly recommend the experience. During our Alaska trip, we went whale watching. Whales are big! One must see them to get the full scope of their size. If I had to choose where I would wish to live the most, I would probably pick right here in the Pacific Northwest though.

I grew up Washington, DC. I am the second eldest of four children. My older sister and I are the same age for one month out of the year, a fact I drive home for the entire time. For the other 11 months, she reminds me she is ‘in charge’ again. 

My father was a musician and passed his music genes down to all of his children. My siblings and I were members of the DC Youth Orchestra program where we learned various instruments. I attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Georgetown where I played clarinet and violin. During that time, I worked as a writer and photographer on our school newspaper. The photography didn’t stick, but my love of writing blossomed from there.

I have always had a love of nature and marine life. When I was younger, I wanted to become a marine biologist. I used to pretend I was a “playground expert” on sharks and rays having read all the books I could get my hands on about the subject. After graduating high school, I went to Howard University to study Zoology. As is life, my plans changed. My academic days were cut short as I started my family and my life went in a different direction. However, I was rather happy to part ways with academia.

In addition to my love of music, I have always been and always shall be a Star Trek fanatic. I am a die-hard card-carrying trekker since the original series and on through the rest of the world of trek. To date, I have watched every show, every episode, and every movie of every Star Trek series. I can watch five seconds of any of Star Trek The Original Series (TOS) episode and will be able to tell you the title and plot with 99% accuracy. I am not a fan of Deep Space Nine (DS9) but I tolerate it. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the best Star Trek movie, in my opinion. Trek stands for all that we could become as humans. Although we fall far from the mark as a species, still we try and for that, I am hopeful. However, I do wish Shatner and Takei would put their feud behind them finally. In addition, Trek is better than Wars, Kirk was the better captain and bearded Riker for the win.

My spirit animal is a dragon. I love them and have an abundance of stuffed animals and figurines to prove it. My gamer tags all have some sort of dragon name. I love role-playing games the most, but never first person shooters. I get bad vertigo from them. I was a die-hard World of Warcraft player for many years, but I no longer play it. I am sticking to Diablo III and Minecraft for now. Once upon a time, I combined my love of Trek and my love of gaming and I ran a Star Trek multi-user dungeon (MUD) called the United Federation of Planets MUD. That was a text based dungeons and dragons type game based in a Star Trek theme.  You fought monsters, collected loot and interacted with other players. It was a game meets chat room environment.  I made many friends there and some are still friends 30 years later. In fact, I met and fell in love with my husband from our online world.

Nowadays, I fill my days making greeting cards for my friends and family and writing. I started making cards about ten years ago. I find it to be an enjoyable and creative hobby. I have my own YouTube channel dedicated to sharing the cards I design.
From a talking pigeon to a mirror that sees all, Notes on the Train brings you closer to the author’s struggle with depression and change through the landscape of life. Not all battles are fought with weapons of war. Some battles rage within the mind and soul and take no prisoners. This book is a collection of poems and prose written by the author on her journey of self-discovery.

Romelia:   WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN ABOUT WRITING?

Loreen de Kort:   The most valuable advice I would give is to just keep at it. Write and put a voice to your words and keep writing. Don’t be dissuaded by feelings of doubt and start to question the value of what you have.

Romelia:   HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO YOU WRITE?

Loreen de Kort:   I haven’t been writing recently, but I intend to get back to it when things settle down in my life.

Romelia:   WHEN YOU ARE WRITING AN EMOTIONAL OR DIFFICULT SCENE, HOW DO SET THE MOOD?

Loreen de Kort:   I reflect on what I am feeling and the words for that feeling come out. Since I write poetry, it comes from the heart and most of all are emotional.

Romelia:   WHOM DO YOU TRUST FOR OBJECTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF YOUR WORK?

Loreen de Kort:   I trust my husband and my daughters. They are my best critics because they always give valuable and sincere critiques. My sister, who is a best-selling author, also gives me direct and useful advice which helps me a lot.

Romelia:   HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE SUBJECT OR THEME OF YOUR BOOK?

Loreen de Kort:   During a crisis time in my life, I entered therapy. I was unable to vocalize all the thoughts and feelings I was experiencing. My therapist suggested I write and journal my thoughts. That’s how I got started.

Romelia:   WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WRITE IN YOUR PARTICULAR FIELD OR GENRE? IF YOU WRITE MORE THAN ONE, HOW DO YOU BALANCE THEM?

Loreen de Kort:   Poetry is the best avenue for me to express my thoughts and feelings. The short verse style lended itself to the message I was trying to convey to the reader.

Romelia:   WHAT CULTURAL VALUE DO YOU SEE IN WRITING?

Loreen de Kort:   Writing is important. The history of a people is contained in the writings and teachings of the times. Word of mouth, although a valuable resource, doesn’t take the place of writing things down. Also, writing can be a solace to a troubled soul.

Romelia:   WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS AND INTENTIONS IN THIS BOOK, AND HOW WELL DO YOU FEEL YOU ACHIEVED THEM?

Loreen de Kort:   My intention in writing this book was to document the feelings and thoughts I was going through. I wanted to put my inner feelings out on paper so I could express myself in a better way than I was able to by speaking my truths. I hoped that if someone reading my words was able to find some comfort in them, I would have done some good.

Romelia:   WHAT DO YOU THINK MOST CHARACTERIZES YOUR WRITING?

Loreen de Kort:   I think honesty is the most obvious point that my writing brings out. I share my innermost feelings in an open and honest way.

Romelia:   WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF WRITING THIS BOOK?

Loreen de Kort:   The hardest part was actually showing the finished work to people. It was very nerve-wracking when I sent my manuscript to the editor. I almost got sick to my stomach with nerves. Putting yourself out there can be hard.

Romelia:   ARE THERE UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS OR IDEAS FEATURED IN YOUR BOOK? IF SO, DISCUSS THEM.

Loreen de Kort:   I think my poem All They Saw Were the Reeboks and The Day the Pidgeon Answered address the invisibility and hopelessness of the homeless. It’s saddening that this continues to be a problem for this country of such vast wealth and prosperity.

Romelia:   WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Loreen de Kort:   I am inspired by life. My writing reflects the experiences I had in my early adulthood and later in life. Dealing with depression is an ongoing struggle and I am inspired to keep pressing forward and not let the stumbles define me.

Romelia:   HOW DID YOU GET TO BE WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR LIFE TODAY?

Loreen de Kort:   I suppose through endurance and patience. Also, the love and support of my children and husband keep me focused and allows me to find the strength to push ahead.

Romelia:   WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS THAT YOU FEEL WERE INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR WORK? WHAT IMPACT HAVE THEY HAD ON YOUR WRITING?

Loreen de Kort:   My favorite authors are Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Julia Quinn. I would say that reading and imagining the world created for the reader of their books encourages me to find the muse inside myself.

Romelia:   WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST USEFUL IN LEARNING TO WRITE? WHAT WAS LEAST USEFUL OR MOST DESTRUCTIVE?

Loreen de Kort:   The most useful thing in writing is having a well-developed imagination. Being able to visualize the scene you are portraying and writing it well helps to keep the reader engaged with the scene. The most destructive is the feelings of self-doubt and worry that come from putting your innermost thoughts out in the public space.

Romelia:   ARE YOU A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME WRITER? HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR WRITING?

Loreen de Kort:   I am a part-time writer. I write to my own enjoyment, not for a job. It affects my writing in that I am not pressured to perform and put out material for the sake of putting out material.

Romelia:   WHAT ARE SOME DAY JOBS THAT YOU HAVE HELD? IF ANY OF THEM IMPACTED YOUR WRITING, SHARE AN EXAMPLE.

Loreen de Kort:   My jobs have been in administration and in the computer field. None really impacted my writing.

Romelia:   HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT EBOOKS VS PRINT BOOKS AND ALTERNATIVE VS CONVENTIONAL PUBLISHING?

Loreen de Kort:   I think alternative publishing is a very low-cost way for authors to get their work out there. It empowers the authors to venture out and gives them more control over their own work. Print books still have their place in this space because some people just want to have a book in hand versus an ebook.

Romelia:   WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE FUTURE OF READING/WRITING?

Loreen de Kort:   I think that more and more, self-publishing and ebooks will become the norm. The computer age has shifted the focus away from brick and mortar stores and this applies to books as well I think.

Romelia:   WHAT MAKES YOUR BOOK STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?

Loreen de Kort:   My book allows you to read something that talks to the inner voice we all have and listen to. In reading Notes on the Train, it allows you to say ”yes, I know how that feels”.

Romelia:   DO YOU WRITE MORE BY LOGIC OR INTUITION, OR SOME COMBINATION OF THE TWO? SUMMARIZE YOUR WRITING PROCESS.

Loreen de Kort:   I write from the heart. So I suppose you would say it is by intuition. I sit and allow my mind and heart to delve into what I am feeling and write it.

Romelia:   WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE PRESENT? WHAT DO YOUR PLANS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS INCLUDE?

Loreen de Kort:   Right now, I am working on a fantasy romance novel. I plan to write more poetry and have started compiling a group of poems to turn into a book at some point in the future.

Romelia:   DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES. TELL US SOMETHING WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU AND SOMETHING YOU HATE ABOUT THE WORLD.

Loreen de Kort:   I am an author, wife, mother of four wonderful women, and a grandmother to three teenagers. I developed a love of poetry writing in my teens and have been writing ever since. I have lived in a suburb north of Seattle for the past 18 years. Living in the Pacific Northwest is rather like living in a land of Christmas trees and mountains filled with natural beauty.

 You can learn more at my website www.loreendekort.com

I am saddened by the continued intolerance for differences that seems to continue all around the world. We are one people, but we interact as many people. We fight, we war, we hate. It is a ceaseless conflict.

http://bit.ly/notesonthetrain

loreendekort@hotmail.com

www.facebook.com/authorloreendekort

www.instagram.com/loreendekort

www.twitter.com/loreendekort

www.loreendekort.com

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